Ji Yeoun Lee September 5, 2017

Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Ahead of Print. OBJECTIVE There has been no established animal model of syringomyelia associated with lumbosacral spinal lipoma. The research on the pathophysiology of syringomyelia has been focused on Chiari malformation, trauma, and inflammation. To understand the pathophysiology of syringomyelia associated with occult spinal dysraphism, a novel animal model of syringomyelia induced by chronic mechanical compression of the lumbar spinal cord was created. METHODS The model was made by epidural injection of highly concentrated paste-like kaolin solution through windows created by partial laminectomy of L-1 and L-5 vertebrae. Behavioral outcome in terms of motor (Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan score) and urinary function was assessed serially for 12 weeks. Magnetic resonance images were obtained in some animals to confirm the formation of a syrinx and to monitor changes in its size. Immunohistochemical studies, including analysis for glial fibrillary acidic protein, NeuN, CC1, ED-1, and caspase-3, were done. RESULTS By 12 weeks after the epidural compression procedure, syringomyelia formation was confirmed in 85% of the rats (34 of 40) on histology and/or MRI. The syrinx cavities were found rostral to the epidural compression. Motor deficit of varying degrees was seen immediately after the procedure in 28% of the rats (11 of 40). In 13 rats (33%), lower urinary tract dysfunction was seen. Motor deficit improved by 5 weeks after the procedure, whereas urinary dysfunction mostly improved by 2 weeks. Five rats (13%, 5 of 40) died 1 month postoperatively or later, and 3 of the 5 had developed urinary tract infection.


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